Delicious, homemade chicken noodle soup, made with leftover rotisserie chicken, celery, carrots, garlic, onions and spinach, will warm you up on a cold day!
We recently bought a rotisserie chicken at Costco. They always seem to have the best roasted chicken! After a couple days of enjoying it, we were left with a mostly picked over whole chicken in our fridge. About 75% of the meat was gone off the bones, and we had the “skeletal remnants” in the fridge.
A lot of folks would throw out the rest of the chicken, at that point. But did you know the bones and tiny bits of chicken left hanging on for dear life can make an incredible tasting chicken noodle soup? YEP! I decided not to waste the leftovers, and make a big pot of soup for our rainy night dinner!
The results? A wonderful tasting homemade chicken noodle soup that we enjoyed for a few more days, for dinner and a couple lunches! So the next time you have a leftover roasted chicken (or have some leftover pre-cooked chicken and chicken broth in your kitchen), make soup! It’s EASY! Here’s how:
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Making Chicken Noodle Soup Using Leftover Roasted Chicken
The photo below shows you what was left of our rotisserie chicken. Poor thing never had a chance! Most of the meat had already been eaten, but there was still some attached to the bones. This is PERFECT for making a delicious broth for the soup!
So, to make a good broth for the chicken noodle soup, place the chicken (or what’s left of it) into a large soup pot, and cover it with water.
Add sliced carrots, celery, chopped onions and two smashed cloves of garlic to the pot. The carrots, onion, and celery are considered the holy trinity of cooking, because they impart so much flavor. They will be perfect to flavor the chicken noodle soup base!
Add salt, pepper, and two large chicken bouillon cubes to the soup pot. Bring the water to a boil on medium high heat. Cook for about 35 minutes, then remove from heat. Carefully remove whole chicken from pot, and let it cool a bit.
Once it has cooled some, pick off all the pieces of chicken you can get from the bones, and add them back into the pot. Believe it or not, I ended up with about 2 cups of shredded chicken! Discard the bones once finished. Skim any accumulated grease off the top of the soup, and remove the two smashed garlic cloves.
If NOT Using A Whole Chicken To Make This Chicken Noodle Soup
NOTE: If NOT using a whole chicken, simply cook the veggies for about 15 minutes (to soften), then add two cups of cooked, shredded chicken into the pot. Make sure to add THREE large chicken bouillon cubes to the water, for flavor.
Timesaving Tip For Making Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup
I made this soup to use up our rotisserie chicken leftovers. HOWEVER… IF YOU WANT TO SAVE TIME, simply use 4 quarts of store bought chicken broth with your veggies and precooked chicken. Then there is no need to make your own chicken broth, and it will still have lots of flavor!
It will end up costing you a bit more to make the soup, but will save you time, if that’s an issue!
Put the chicken noodle soup back on the stove on medium high heat. Bring the soup to a full boil, then add the uncooked rotini pasta. If you don’t have rotini pasta noodles, add your favorite! Stir, and cook the noodles for the time stated on package (typically this is between 11-13 minutes).
When the noodles are finished cooking, add 1 Tablespoon of butter to the pot. Stir in the thawed and drained chopped spinach. Continue cooking the soup for a couple minutes, until chicken noodle soup is heated through. Take a small taste, and add salt and/or pepper, as desired.
And there you have it! Instead of throwing away the remnants of a whole rotisserie chicken, you have used it to make a delicious pot of homemade chicken noodle soup!
Who’s Ready To Eat Some Chicken Noodle Soup?
All that’s left to do is ladle up a bowlful of hot soup, and serve it to those you love! It’s really quite easy to make a delicious, filling pot of chicken noodle soup very inexpensively! The best part is that this soup, filled with chicken, pasta, spinach, carrots, onions, celery and a wonderful tasting broth TASTES SO GOOD!
Sure hope you will consider trying this recipe for homemade chicken noodle soup! I think it’s fun to get a huge pot of delicious soup using only a few simple, common ingredients!
Looking For More SOUP Recipes?
You can find all my soup recipes in the Recipe Index, located at the top of the page. A few favorites of ours include:
- Grandma’s Southern-Style Chicken n’ Dumplings (my most pinned recipe!)
- Moroccan Meatball Couscous Soup
- Chicken, Wild Rice & Bacon Soup
- Fully Loaded Potato Soup
- Southwestern Chicken Lime Soup
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- 2 cups cooked chicken
- 4 quarts water , to cover chicken
- 2 cubes chicken bouillon , large cubes
- 2 large carrots , peeled, sliced
- 1/2 cup onion , chopped
- 2 stalks celery , chopped
- 2 garlic cloves , peeled, smashed
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1½ cups uncooked rotini pasta , or pasta of choice
- 1 Tablespoon butter
- 1 cup chopped frozen spinach , thawed & drained
Place the chicken carcass (what's left of it) into a large soup pot, and cover it with water. Add sliced carrots, celery, chopped onions and two smashed cloves of garlic to the pot. Add salt, pepper, and two large chicken bouillon cubes.
Bring the water to a boil on medium high heat. Cook for 35 minutes, then remove pan from heat. Carefully remove chicken carcass from pot, and let it cool a bit. Once it has cooled some, pick off all the pieces of chicken you can get from the bones, and add them back into the pot. Discard bones, once finished. Skim any accumulated grease off the top of the soup, and remove the two smashed garlic cloves.
Put the soup back on the stove on medium high heat. Bring the soup to a full boil, then add uncooked rotini pasta. Stir, and cook the noodles for the time stated on package until done (typically this is between 11-13 minutes).
When noodles are finished cooking, add 1 Tablespoon of butter to the pot. Stir in the thawed, drained chopped spinach. Continue cooking soup for a couple minutes, until it's heated through. Take a taste, and add salt and/or pepper, as desired. Serve, and enjoy!
Cook the veggies (carrots, onions, celery, garlic) in the boiling broth (4 quarts) for 15 minutes, then add shredded chicken and pasta (etc.) and cook per instructions above. Once noodles are cooked, add butter, spinach, and season with additional salt/pepper as desired. Serve, and enjoy!
Caloric calculation is based on "made from scratch" method (using leftover chicken and bones).
Here’s one more to pin on your Pinterest boards!